Such a shame.
Remember the night tube? Although it’s been a while since its true brilliance has been put to use, with lockdowns effectively putting a pause on London’s nightlife, the trusty after-hours weekend train service really was a godsend ever since the introduction in August 2016. [Featured Image: Christian Mueller, Shutterstock].
For its first four years, it blessed London’s night owls far and wide, by providing easier rides home on six tube lines–Piccadilly, Central, Overground, Northern, Victoria and Jubilee–after a night out in the sparkling lights of the city centre.
In short, we miss it; just as we miss all cogs that make up London’s nightlife. And unfortunately, even if all goes to plan – and the UK really is free of all lockdown measures – we’ll have to wait a little longer to reap the benefits of the weekend night tube once more.
TFL boss Andy Byford has confirmed that the service won’t return before the end of the year. Speaking to the Evening Standard, Byford confirmed the service would be the last to return to normal once the pandemic is over.
He said: “We need the personnel to keep the day services going and frankly there isn’t the demand for it, so there are no immediate plans to restore the Night Tube within a year, and certainly not before 2022. Securing the whole network is more important than keeping the night tube going.”
Byford pointed to the London Night Buses that could be used as an alternative for those returning from nights out.
This, of course, comes as a huge blow to London’s returning nightlife, as the service has always been viewed as a vital element of London’s night time economy since its arrival.
Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association, called the move “an absolute travesty,” before adding that “You have huge venues like Printworks and Studio 338 in Greenwich where the night tube is fundamental to the safe dispersal of audiences, so this is a fundamental flaw in TfL’s planning.”
Boris Johnsons roadmap dictates that nightclubs are scheduled to open from June 21, but many late-night bars are also slated to open a month earlier, from May 17.
Whenever London’s nightlife resumes, it’s safe to say that most Londoners will be keeping their fingers crossed for the return of the night tube service as quickly as possible.